A record 107,500 migrants made the journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2012, an increase from 103,000 people in 2011, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced Tuesday (January 15th).
More than 80% of the migrants were Ethiopians and the rest Somalis. Those arriving on the shores of Yemen typically use the country as a transit point to reach Gulf countries.
The crossing is dangerous and the UNHCR estimates that at least 100 people drowned while en route. Human traffickers often force passengers into the water to avoid the Yemeni coast guard, causing many to drown, the UNHCR said.
Despite facing its own economic and security difficulties, Yemen is host to more than 236,000 refugees, nearly all of whom are Somali. Somalis are automatically recognised as refugees upon arriving in Yemen.